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This article is about Helenopolis in Bithynia. For other uses, see Helenopolis (disambiguation).

Coordinates: 40°43′24″N 29°30′08″E / 40.72339°N 29.50224°E / 40.72339; 29.50224

Helenopolis (Greek: Ἑλενόπολις) or Drepana (Δρέπανα) was an ancient Roman and Byzantine town in Bithynia, Asia Minor, on the southern side of the Gulf of Astacus. It has been identified with the modern village of Hersek, in the district of Altınova, Yalova Province. It is traditionally considered as the birthplace of Saint Helena.


According to the 6th-century historian Procopius, Helena's son Constantine the Great renamed the city "Helenopolis" to honor her birthplace; but the name may simply have honored her without marking her birthplace.[1] Constantine also built there a church in honour of the martyr Saint Lucian; it soon grew in importance, and Constantine lived there very often towards the end of his life.

Near it were some famous mineral springs. These mineral springs might be those of Termal near Yalova.

Justinian built there an aqueduct, baths, and other monuments. It does not seem ever to have grown, and it was slightingly called Eleinou Polis, "the wretched town".

Ecclesiastical history[edit]

The see of Helenopolis in Bithynia was a suffragan of Nicomedia.[2]

Lequien[3] mentions nine of its bishops. Macrinus, the first, is said to have been at the Council of Nicaea (325), but his name is not given in the authentic lists of the members of the council. About 400, the church of Helenopolis was governed by Palladius of Galatia, the friend and defender of John Chrysostom, and author of the Historia Lausiaca. The last known bishop assisted at the Photian Council in Constantinople (879). Helenopolis occurs in the Notitiae Episcopatuum until the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.

Helenopolis in Bithynia is included in the Catholic Church's list of titular sees.[2]


  1. ^ Harbus, Antonia. Helena of Britain in Medieval Legend. Rochester, NY: D.S. Brewer, 2002, p. 12ff
  2. ^ a b Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2013, ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), p. 886
  3. ^ Oriens Christianus, I, 623.

External links[edit]

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "article name needed". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton.